–submitted article photo, Team Sooke Juan de Fuca
At the end of April Team Sooke/Juan de Fuca committed to sponsoring an Iraqi family of four—parents and their two daughters, 13 and 20. They were forced to flee when ISIS took over the city they were living in. They are now struggling to survive as refugees in Lebanon. We sent them information about Sooke, and they responded that they would be delighted to come here. Their first question was “How long will it take?”
That’s now our question, too. On May 6th we learned that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has brought in restrictions on the number of private sponsorships they will allow for the rest of 2016. This has left groups all across the country not knowing when their family’s application will be processed.
We have encountered several bureaucratic hiccups on our path to sponsorship, and have learned to just keep moving forward. While the situation sorts itself out, we are continuing with the detailed paperwork that is required to bring the family to Canada. We will be ready to go when we get the word.
Every time we talk to the family they send their heartfelt thanks to the generous community who has extended them a welcome. On the fundraising front, we have raised a little over $36,000—so $14,000 isstill needed to meet our $50,000 minimum goal.